Florence Post 11 still alive

Published 10:17 pm Saturday, July 25, 2009

Florence Post 11 will live to play another game, this after it eliminated West Alabama Post 29 Saturday morning.

Florence won 12-2 in a mercy rule shortened game, one night after losing a mercy rule shortened game to Tuscaloosa Post 34.

“Well, it was time to win or go home,” said Florence head coach Lee Walker. “We made a few lineup changes to try and put a spark into these guys and they responded.”

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Walker said playing a shortened game was a goal he had set for his team.

“We definitely only wanted to play seven,” Walker said. “We challenged the guys to make that happen if they could. We knew they would be feeling down after their tough luck loss last night and I felt like if we could on top of them early, we would have a chance to go only seven and we were able to do that.”

Florence scored three runs in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 9-0 lead.

Mark Vanhorn pitched a complete game for Florence, allowing just two runs on seven hits while striking out seven.

“Van Horn really stepped up for us today,” Walker said. “He pitched a pretty good game. The biggest key is that we played error-free through the first six innings. But, he did throw well. Our offense really did a good job of helping to take the pressure off of him so he could just focus on throwing strikes. He just stepped it up today.”

Designated hitter Nikolas Flanagan led Florence at the plate, going 2-4 with three RBIs.

Dwight Self also went 3-4 with two RBIs, while William Mansell went 1-4 with two RBIs.

Coleman McLendon scored Florence’s only run on a wild pitch.

With the win, Florence will face Dothan Post 12 for the right to play for a state title Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Walker said his team does need to make some adjustments prior to its second game Saturday.

“We’ve got to improve the little things, like only swinging at good pitches,” Walker said. “We’ve just got to keep from giving at-bats away and we’ll be fine.”